Nebraska Psychological First Aid
August 2 @ 8:30 am - 5:00 pm MDT
Brought To You By Region 1 Behavioral Health Authority
PFA is a supportive behavioral intervention for use in the immediate aftermath of disasters and other traumatic events, and is an evidence-informed approach to assist individuals in the immediate aftermath of disaster and terrorism. Psychological First Aid is designed to reduce the initial distress caused by traumatic events and to foster short- and long-term adaptive functioning and coping. Principles and techniques of Psychological First Aid meet four basic standards: (1) consistent with research evidence on risk and resilience following trauma; (2) applicable and practical in field settings; (3) appropriate to developmental level across the lifespan; and (4) culturally informed and adaptable. Psychological First Aid does not presume all survivors will develop severe psychopathology, but instead fosters an understanding that disaster survivors, and others impacted by such events, will experience a broad range of physical, psychological, cognitive, and spiritual reactions. Some of these reactions will cause sufficient distress for the individual and may be alleviated by support from compassionate and caring disaster responders. Populations that benefit from this approach include healthcare workers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical service professionals, and other first responders and disaster relief workers.
Basic Objectives of Psychological First Aid
· Establish a human connection in a non-intrusive, compassionate manner.
· Enhance immediate and ongoing safety, and provide physical and emotional comfort.
· Calm and orient emotionally-overwhelmed or distraught survivors.
· Help survivors to articulate immediate needs and concerns, and gather additional information as appropriate.
· Offer practical assistance and information to help survivors address their immediate needs and concerns.
· Connect survivors as soon as possible to social support networks, including family members, friends, neighbors, and community helping resources.
· Support positive coping, acknowledge coping efforts and strengths, and empower survivors; encourage adults, children, and families to take an active role in their recovery.
· Provide information that may help survivors to cope effectively with the psychological impact of disasters.
· Facilitate continuity in disaster response efforts by clarifying how long the Psychological First Aid provider will be available, and (when appropriate) linking the survivor to another member of a disaster response team or to indigenous recovery systems, mental health services, public-sector services, and organizations.